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Spark Stickers

Sunday, November 20, 2011

I was explaining to a friend how SparkPeople has many avenues of positive reinforcement for healthy behaviors. "But what can you use those Spark points for?" she asked. I explained about SparkGoodies, and then I heard myself saying, "It's like the stickers kids get to put on a chart. It's an immediate, concrete reward for some accomplishment.

I do feel a childlike glee when I check off my boxes on "Other Goals" --- or when I put GOAL MET and a date by an entry on my Spark page . . . even though it's a tiny baby step. I'm so glad my Spark friends have been teaching me to identify very specific, achievable healthy behaviors to track---as well as setting up many small incremental weight goals. Getting my "stickers on the chart" does motivate me. Hopscotch, anyone?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JIBBIE49 11/24/2011 12:20AM

    I love that I got my "YACHT" and my "CORVETTE" with my Sparkpoints. One woman posted a blog about how LUXURY items with SparkPoints were a waste of space, and I certainly don't agree. I had to be here a lot to get 25,000 points for that Yacht. Even though I'm not at my goal weight, I certainly am less than the day I joined four years ago, which is a great improvement.

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NANCY- 11/21/2011 7:39AM

    I thought they were silly at first, but you are right they signify achievement.
Keep Sparking!!!

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WATERMELLEN 11/20/2011 7:00PM

    No question that SP is structured on all the latest research about motivation: but Mum knew all along, didn't she??

I'd love a new category of goodie that would function like a sticker: so we could put an A+ on a blog, or a gold star or whatev!!

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Quiche Quandary

Friday, November 18, 2011

The spinach quiche I made for a potluck luncheon tasted great, and I was pleased with several calorie-reducing steps I took. These were mini-quiche (2-bite size) with no crust.

I would like your input on the only drawback, which was a lengthy cleaning problem getting the egg out of 48 little compartments in the pans. They were non-stick pans, and I greased them well, but they still required a lot of soaking and scrubbing and soaking again and scrubbing more to get all the egg off.

Have any of you used something else for the crust function (to have the food lift out more easily), besides traditional pie crust? I avoid paper liners . . . both because I'm frugal and because I want to be a good steward of God's creation by not using unnecessary disposables. I would be grateful for any insights or suggestions.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JIBBIE49 11/24/2011 12:21AM


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JUDI_CUTIE 11/19/2011 9:18PM

    I use the foil liners that you can get in the supermarket. They are interleaved with paper liners in the package. So I put a paper liner against the muffin pan and the foil liner inside of it so it is against the food. Before I put the egg mixture into the foil cups, I spray them very lightly with the oil spray. When they come out of the oven, as soon as they have cooled just a little (so I don't get burned) I peel the liners right off. Then I store them without any liners on them. This is something I have done a lot and it really works for me!

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LALAFLOWERS 11/19/2011 1:45PM

    PAM spray works quite well, as long as it's a fairly new non-stick. But, yes.. some soaking will be involved. Or... just put a small circle of crust at the bottom. find a cookie cutter that is the same size as the bottom of your 'well', then cut the crust. You'll end up using about 1/3 of crust than if you lined the whole thing. Or, you can use a couple of layers of filo dough. You don't need butter between them (that makes the layers spread out a bit more), but the filo will crisp up and keep the egg away from the metal.

good luck!

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NANCY- 11/19/2011 9:37AM

    Cleaning pans is a pain in the posterior. So much for non-stick. Sorry I do not have any suggestions other than soaking in hot water.

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TRAVELGRRL 11/19/2011 9:14AM

    Hi FL,
Is there any fat in the recipe? Sometimes that helps, especially if it is baked on high for awhile to brown the top/outsides and then turned down to finish cooking in the middle.

I hate the paper liners because the contents tends to get soggy rather than crisping.

Good luck!

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JLITT62 11/19/2011 6:49AM

    Get the silicone liners - machine washable & reusable!

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    I was going to suggest paper liners . . . then I finished reading! Egg is just messy, isn't it!

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SUNSHINE99999 11/18/2011 9:48PM

  quiche sounds good to me. I think I will get a recipe for my wife to try out.

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Panic Averted

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I woke up this morning and thought, "This is too hard. I cannot do this the rest of my life."

Praise God, I had an answering thought quickly: "You don't have to."

"You only have to do it TODAY."

Then I revised my self-talk to say, "Just make healthy choices for breakfast. That's all you need to be concerned about right now."

I made it through today with pretty good choices. Now I'm going to set up small goals to check off, so the big task won't seem so overwhelming.

I also keep looking at the pages of my friends who have met their goals, WATERMELLEN, SLENDERELLA61, BLESSEDMAZARS, and NORTHWOODSMOM8, telling myself, "They did it, and they're still doing it. It can be done."

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JIBBIE49 11/24/2011 12:22AM

    Oh, KEEPING the weight off and staying at goal is the hardest part.

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WATERMELLEN 11/18/2011 8:13AM

    Thanks for the shout out! Even telling myself that I have to stick with it for one whole day would be daunting on occasion . . . Instead I tell myself that hunger is not an emergency, and that 20 minutes from now I'll have forgotten all about whatver treat is obsessing me (and isn't on my tracker for today!!) Also that hunger signals how much I am going to enjoy my next meal, when it happens!!

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BIGLITTLEWOMAN 11/17/2011 3:56PM

    There's a reason One Day At A Time is titled, "The Serenity Prayer." Living our lives one day at a time does give us that Peace. What a revelation for us all. I love your blog about your Ripstick Nazi coach. You are one lucky runner. (and Mom)

Comment edited on: 11/17/2011 3:57:24 PM

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NANCY- 11/17/2011 10:32AM

You are so right all we need to be focused on is this moment.
I'd love to hear more of yourself talk... especially at night.
You are inspiring!

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STRNGNGRNDED 11/17/2011 9:37AM

    Eventually eating healthier will be second nature and it will all come without much thought. I've been in your shoes and have had the same thought. I can't do this for the rest of my life; counting calories, logging what I eat, weighing foods. This isn't something I was going to do forever. I had to find what worked for me. I did in 2007 and it's all second nature now. :). You'll get there.

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    Ha! emoticonI had that VERY same thought this morning as that stupid scale yelled out that SAME OLD NUMBER at me! I'm glad I read your blog! TODAY is all I need be concerned with! emoticonAnd your list of friends' blogs to read? They are my friends, too, and I must say... WE HAVE GREAT TASTE IN FRIENDS! emoticon

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One moment, one choice at a time . . . add them all up & they become big changes!! Good job!

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UMBILICAL 11/16/2011 9:29PM

  Today for God.

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Ripstick Nazi

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Last year I enjoyed TRAVELGRRL's blogs about the "Spandex Nazi" who made sure her workout class was goaded to maximum performance. (see her blog "Back in the Groove" from June 1, 2010,

I feel like I'm having a sample of her sweat and tears now with my own Ripstick Nazi. My middle-school daughter zooms around on this skateboard-with-a-super-swivel device like a graceful ice skater, and she took me running today. I must explain the expressions "she took me" and "running."

I am proud to say I go running, even though my pace is too slow to appear even on the selections for "jogging" in the fitness tracker. I cover the territory as fast as I can while moving my arms and legs (with some walking interspersed), I'm enjoying the scenery moving past, and I get my heart rate way up. I call this going running.

My daughter's coaching style is enthusiastic and relentless. I am sometimes amused, sometimes annoyed, but definitely motivated! While zipping back and forth, around and around on her ripstick (somehow one's bodily momentum propels the thing) as we move along the street and sidewalk in a very quiet neighborhood, she is calling the shots without pause.

"Come on Mom, you can do it, you're going to be thin, faster Mom, that's great, keep breathing, you're gonna walk when we get to the parking sign, you can do it, just a few more steps, you're going to get to wear nice clothes, come on, you know you want this, now walk while I count, don't forget to take deep breaths, get some oxygen, think in your mind about running really fast in a few seconds, you're gonna start running at the next driveway, give it your best now, get ready, 3 - 2 - 1 - go, faster, faster Mom, you can do it, you're going to be so strong, you're going to be thin, you're going to be pretty, I'm not saying you're not pretty now, but you're going to like it a lot better, just a few more steps, don't slow down, faster, keep your feet moving, you can do it, you're almost there, last spurt before walking, last one best one . . . twenty-two minutes solid.

What a gift, what a sweet service to me. How can I fail? She is investing in me, and pulling for me, and propelling me to success. Thanks be to God!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NANCY- 11/17/2011 10:05AM

    Wow! A personal coach right at home!!! What a sweetie she is to offer such encouragement and direction.

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ID_VANDAL 11/16/2011 1:32PM

    What a great blog. I think you must have the best trainer in the world!! The really nice thing is that you KNOW it and are taking full advantage of the joy she gives you.

Keep the great efforts!!



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RUNNINGOMA 11/16/2011 6:50AM

    How nice to have a personal trainer that absolutely loves you! Way to go and keep on with your accomplishments!

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    Be thankful for such encouragement!!

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WATERMELLEN 11/15/2011 8:09PM

    Soooooo touching! That daughter of yours is quite the gal!! Gotta love it!!

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TRAVELGRRL 11/15/2011 7:55PM

    Hey, thanks for the shoutout!

She sounds like a WONDERFUL CHILD; with her at your side, HOW can you fail??

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    What positive reinforcement! Where did she learn this from?! That was absolutely fantastic! What a GEM! A PEACH! Just a dear girl, I say! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Three out of Four

Monday, November 14, 2011

I kept my resolve to have fruit at breakfast (plus lots of onions in my egg), and I had fruit plus two veggies with supper, but I FORGOT (while rushing around and grabbing a quick lunch with my daughters) to have a veggie with lunch. I remembered to be low-calorie and low-budget, but no veggie.

Gotta get those habits consistent, and then it will be second nature. Do I forget to put on my seatbelt? Never forget, no sweat, because for 43 years it has been "no choice." [As the fourth kid, during my childhood I rode in the back seat, and rear seatbelts became mandatory in 1968. Okay, enough on that rabbit trail....]

So now I shall shift to the Sparkgoals chart to record my intentions and fulfillments. These past few days, I wanted to throw those first couple resolutions out here and be very public about it so I was less likely to weasel out or be apathetic. But just so you know, I intend to make myself track all my eating.

You guys have been extremely supportive and encouraging. You make a backslider feel that it's a GOOD THING to be back on SparkPeople. Thanks!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUDI_CUTIE 11/15/2011 1:42PM

    Way to go! You have a wise comment about habits - - - we seem to act like it is so hard to do certain things, but you remind us that once it is a habit, then it is easy!

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ID_VANDAL 11/15/2011 1:28PM

    Great plan on recording on the Sparkgoals chart. I have to check into that. So much going on in Sparkland I must be using about 1% of what's out there!!

Glad you're back blogging. When I didn't blog very much this summer I really started to let things get away. Although honestly they were out of control before I stopped blogging.

Time for all of us to regain our focus and momentum.



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    Great! You're bouncing back like you never left! I was the 4th kid, too, and no, I don't ever forget my seat belt, either! emoticon

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    it IS a good thing to be back on SP! Keep working at it, you will get there!

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BETTA13 11/14/2011 11:21PM

    Hahaha...enjoying your sense of humor here. You've repented your ways now, GO FORTH AND BE FRUITFUL (no pun intended...well a little maybe ;o)


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